CREATE’s research funding infrastructure is focused on promoting education, translation, and direct involvement of people with disabilities.

CREATE takes requests for matching money if they meet all the following criteria:

  1. Include at least one PI who is a CREATE director
  2. Are limited to $40,000 or less
  3. Include a 1:3 match or better
  4. Have a clear rational for funding that is aligned with CREATE’s mission and would benefit from an influx of new funds

CREATE also sometimes puts out internal calls for research proposals on specific topics, usually aligned with its major research initiatives.

In 2022-23, CREATE is working with the Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, the Simpson Center, and Population Health to encourage submissions at the intersection of disability, race and technology. The call for this initiative will be announced in February after our upcoming event.

Funded research

Supporting urban accessibility work

Matched grant of $6,666
Jon Froehlich, PI

In 2020, CREATE matched a UW Global Innovation Fund (GIF) with $6,666. The proposal focused on supporting our urban accessibility work with Liga Peatonal—an NGO focused on pedestrian safety and accessibility in Latin America. In Mexico, 55% of school commuters and 23% of workers travel by foot or wheelchair; however, 44% of traffic-related deaths are pedestrian—often due to poor or non-existent pedestrian infrastructure.

Prior to funding, PI Froehlich and Liga Peatonal worked together to deploy Project Sidewalk into two initial areas in Mexico City and San Pedro Garza García. In a pre-funded pilot, over 700 users mapped 130.2 km of sidewalks and identified 20,126 sidewalk accessibility problems.

With GIF and CREATE support, they were able to expand our pilot to a third city La Piedad, Mexico. Now, nearly 3,000 users have participated in mapping and assessing over 2500 km of sidewalks in Mexico, resulting in 162k labels and 72k validations. This work resulted in a publication featured in the United Nations Habitat program and a paper entitled Sidewalk Accessibility in the US and Mexico: Policies, Tools, and a Preliminary Case Study published at a CSCW workshop on civic technology.

Postdoctoral Training in Physical Computing and Fabrication to Support Innovations for Community Living and Participation

Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (AART) Center

Through the Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (AART) Center, postdoctoral fellows were trained in harnessing advances in physical computing and fabrication as it relates to rehabilitation research. Selected postdoctoral fellows participate in a 12 or 24-month training program which builds their expertise in physical computing, fabrication, and disability studies. Current post doctoral trainees benefitting from this ARRT include: Momona Yamagami; Alexandra Portnova; and Maitraye Das.


CREATE also funds student research and translation

Education minigrants

Students may apply for CREATE education minigrants for accessibility-related research projects. Projects could be part of a course or be independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. One example of a good use of funding is to pay a participant in a research study who has a disability.

Translation grants

CREATE translation grants are awarded to fund new pilot initiatives, demonstration projects, or social ventures that lead to the translation of research products into deployable usable technologies or technology artifacts in real use.